Of Balloons and Dreams
There is a place that is mystical when you are in the dream that is so very real. Time stands still in the real world and you are in a bubble of the “not this world” that is outside of time. Perhaps older or perhaps younger, faster in process or standing still, but not part of this the current time and space. When you become fully engaged in your dream it is a place of immersion and all that you see and hear is a part of this dream.
There is a place in a hot air balloon that is curiously the same; immersed. There is no wind, time stands still. While a part of the world you are outside of it. While visible, you are somehow disconnected and observing but not participating. Curious, but what a view…
What is it about your dreams that involve your vocation, your avocation, and your place in time that has no wind. There is only the “now” of the complete immersion. Disconnected from all other stimuli, but fully absorbed into the moment. You have entered the “zone”. Not exactly the twilight version, but it is an altered state of being. Time ceases to be something that you recognize, exactly, like everyone else.
Like a dream the balloon cannot not be steered as much as nudged and guided and coaxed into a direction and a landing that you will accept, rather than the one you “wanted”. Your career, your children’s lives, your hopes. Until you fully let go of the land and allow the balloon to rise to the occasion you will be torn by the “fears” and the “what ifs” and you will never know the immersion. Knowing that “this thing can come down and at times hard” will keep some from letting go of the tethers and some from getting in at all. The wind will blow, and it will be faced or at your back, but in the air there is no wind against or for you, you are in it. You can rise or lower to catch a current that is a different speed or direction, but you are still “in the moment”. You are where you are. Different people describe this place in different terms, but the place is still the same; otherworldly. The actor on stage, the player on the court or field, the finance trader on the floor of the exchange, or the mom in the rocker with the newborn… immersed. The dream and the balloon and the place that they meet. Not here. Fully here. Complete. At once absorbed and suspended. Like a diver in the sea, buoyant. At one with the surroundings. A fish in water doesn’t know it is wet… it just is.
Fully aware of the risks and that gravity happens to us all, the ones that take the ride are called several things, including some that cannot be shared in polite company, but they are the ones that change the trajectory of life. For themselves if not for their families and others as well. Not that they are invincible but that they try “again”. Letting go of the tethers and the extra baggage and the encumbrances that so easily beset us. Fully aware of one other thing; others.
The ground team that cleans up after you take off. The ones that follow you around waiting for you to get closer to land, and then risk their safety to grab ahold and secure you back to the earth with hugs and tales of the vistas. This is the team that holds on when the winds are a bit stronger than expected and the landing was a bit more complicated than you thought it would be. They run across the pastures and the dessert to meet you at the point of impact. Fold up the balloon and hoist it into the trailer for the ride back. The team that stays behind. That lets others ride. Is not out for their own story but the story of another. These are the heroes in the shadows. They get the game into action and bring some chairs and a glass of water. They are the unsung, in this dream. They may have a dream of their own, but it may be simply to be part of the “pit crew”.
This is the twist that needs to be accepted. The “pit crew” can be the dream of one that is with you. It is true that they may indeed be settling. They may be afraid or inhibited or living the lie that someone else told them. “You are the support and not the leader” and it may be wrong. Or it may be wrong here and now. Later and on a different team or task it will be their dream. It can be messy leaving the “here” for the “there” of your own dream. All dreamers have detractors. They all need a “ground crew”. Able bodies and mentors, both are needed. Balloon folders and map readers helping plan the next adventure. There will, of course, be another adventure.
The ones that “make the thing work” are the ones that need a bit of attention from time to time. The maid at the hotel, the clerk at the register, the one that mows the lawn or cleans the kennel. They do a task that frees you to do your desire. A token of appreciation is the grease that keeps the machine running well. A card of thanks or simple acknowledgement of the thing they like to do anyway says that you noticed, and they exist. It makes a difference. You would like it as well, if you gave it a thought…
Everyone knows the driver of the racecar but not the pit crew leader or the tire changer guy, until they fail… Perhaps it is the role of the failure to bring to life the reality that they had been taken for granted. Take a moment and reflect on the amount that you pay attention to the “do-er” types in your life. The ones that tend to your grandma in the care facility or the one that mows the grass at the grave yard. We all expect it to be done and think little of that “ground crew” that does their tasks, until it fails to get done. We are all busy, but so is the ground crew. It is a simple bit of curiosity that makes this shift into the world of appreciation and the acknowledgment thereof. It is the simple things, after all.
When I was in third grade we were learning to write letters. Our teacher had us write one to ourselves and she would send it to us in the mail. The idea is that we would get a note from our past to us someday in the future. Perhaps you might try the exercise now, so you might know what it is like to get some “fan mail” instead of simple bills and junk mail. Get a nice card or stationary. Write a note of appreciation and acknowledge a few things that you do well. Tell yourself that you have good things to know about you. Sometimes we are our best “ground crew”. That always shows up at the crash and helps to pick ourselves up, fold the balloon and set out on the next dream… Look at that view !
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